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and good morning. welcome to "news 4 midday." i'm aaron gilchrist in for barbara harrison. it's wednesday, july 20th, 2011. we begin this morning with a major water main break in montgomery county. here's a look from chopper 4 earlier today. you can see the mess that this caused during the morning commute, as well as the damage to the roadway there. right now crews are busy repairing that break while rerouting traffic. this is not just happening in one spot, but along several areas along georgia avenue in wheaton. news 4's tracee wilkins is live for us this morning with more details. tracee? >> reporter: good morning,
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aaron. take a look here behind me. they have found their problem, but now they're working to try and actually get to it. wsse is doing this work, yes, in the middle of georgia avenue. it's going to be bad news for folks who are trying to head southbound. finding the 16-inch water main that caused 4 million gallons of water to spew from underground in wheaton took a few hours. it was finally located at shorefield and georgia avenue. when the water was running, the pressure was so significant that when it hit the bottom of the hill, it cracked the road at weismann and grandview avenue. it almost looked like a second water main break. some of the nearby homes here were flooded, like this woman's house. she asked not to be identified, but told us the water was like a river and it left a visible trail in her front yard. what did it do to the inside of your house? is it just water or -- >> luckily i was up and was able to stop the water from coming in. but i think for some other
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people, it's probably a lot more damage. >> reporter: like her next-door neighbors, who can't even open their basement door. from the outside, it looks like the basement could be filled with several feet of water. once the water stopped flowing from the main, the damage was apparent. this metro bus stop on georgia avenue is covered in mud and now rests about an inch or two off the ground. the roads were also broken up and buckled on georgia avenue as well as weismann. at first glance, it looks more like a minor earthquake than a water main break. this is widespread. there are blocks of damage around this water main break. >> right. because of the elevation of georgia avenue in this area, we had a lot of water rolling away from the break downhill, mainly down this weismann road area, right here. and again, the water moving under pressure does cause a lot of impact to the roadway at times. >> reporter: meanwhile, there were traffic backups due to detours. >> we were just llowing others, really. we haven't been back here in a
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long time. so here we are. >> reporter: this as wssc workers make yet another repair to this ageing system, a repair that may once again inconvenience some folks this evening. >> southbound will remain closed even after we repair the water main until we get the road repaired. >> reporter: now, that's exactly what wssc is saying. southbound georgia avenue will be closed as they continue their work. hopefully it will be open in time for the morning commute. but for the evening, it's not going to be open. if this is your normal route, you'll want to find a workaround, definitely. i'm tracee wilkins, live this morning in wheaton. back to you all in the studio. >> tracee, thank you. and crews have just completed repairs to a sinkhole on i-295 in the district that could cause some major traffic headaches this morning. 295 north has been closed near the exit for pennsylvania avenue for several hours while the hole was repaired. gen, 295 northbound in the district is back open, however you may still notice some heavy
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traffic in that area. an arlington county police officer in the hospital with serious injuries after he was involved in a crash early this morning. he was headed south on north glebe road in boston when he collided with another car on washington boulevard. that accident shut down washington boulevard for several hours. news 4's melissa mollet has the latest from the scene. >> reporter: investigators out here on the scene of this accident for hours wednesday morning, trying to determine exactly what happened here around 2:15 this morning. here is what we know. an arlington officer responding to a call for a fight at the boston mall was heading south on north glebe road when his cruiser and a tan corolla collided at the intersection. now, the corolla ended up on the median with significant damage to the front end. the cruiser ended up just across the street in the bushes pointing north. again, severe damage to that vehicle as well. now, we understand the female driver of that corolla suffered minor injuries. police saying her blood alcohol is being tested. they say she had been drinking but do not believe she was
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intoxicated at the time of the crash. as for the officer, he is 40 years old, a five-year vet of the force, again, suffering serious injuries. >> thankfully, we haven't had have many serious accidents involving officers. you know, it certainly makes us think about our driving behavior and we're keeping the officer and his family in our thoughts. >> reporter: in arlington, melissa mollet, news 4. back to you. >> today's crash comes just a day after three people, including a montgomery county police officer, were also hurt in an accident. that one happened on colesville road near slago creek parkway in silver spring. brendan hopkins was responding to a call around midnight when he lost control of his cruiser and slammed into a toyota. the occupants of that car, 62-year-old yvonne wilson and 66-year-old lorenzo wilson we main hospitalized. officer hopkins is 25 and has been with the department for a year. the fate of the dulles rail project could rest on a single vote today.
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as we speak, the airport's authority is voting on whether to build an aboveground station at the airport. the authority has previously decided to build a more expensive underground station, claiming it would be more convenient for travelers, less of an eyesore, and would last longer. u.s. transportation secretary ray lahood wants the board to reconsider that plan. he prefers an aboveground station and other changes that would save about $1 billion on the project. we're staying on top of the vote happening right now. we'll have an update on this story as soon as we get some information from that meeting. we'll turn to the weather now, and the building heat and humidity out there. veronica johnson joins us with a look at our first forecast. hey, veronica. >> hey, there, aaron. yeah, we'll talk about the heat wave. it's going to continue. so far this heat wave has been just walking on us. now it's going to start running over us. temperatures out there, currently they're at 85 degrees. we're about 3, 4 degrees down from where we were yesterday at this time, but the humidity is slightly higher. so not getting much of a break. coming up, we'll talk about the
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heat wave running over us, we're talking about triple-digit readings. so far, we've only had one day that's been over 100 degrees this year. last year we had three and now we could get three in a row. temperatures around the area from ft. washington and glendale at 85 degrees right now. georgetown and the park at 83. the dew point temperatures in there up again in the low to mid-70s throughout the area. that 70-74 pocket, that's very humid, and it's going to be quite oppressive today as the air temperature gets up to 95 degrees. that is where the heat index is in most locations, but running right now from stafford to culpepper in fredericksburg, that heat index currently at 100 degrees right now. so by later today, it will feel many neighborhoods like we're just over 100. coming up the next couple of days, extreme heat. heat index at 110. we'll talk more about that and when this heat wave is finally going to end in a couple of minutes. >> see you then.
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thanks, veronica. more bad news for northern virginia commuters. traffic on 395 may get even worse in the coming years. the "washington examiner" reports that state officials are cutting $100 million in transit upgrades that were supposed to be a part of the i-95 hot lanes project. those upgrades included new bus routes and rapid transit stations. the improvement were supposed to ease congestion during construction of the hot lanes, which will run between garrisonville road in stafford county and edison road in fairfax county. police are investigating a deadly shooting in northeast washington. this happened about 4:30 this morning along dix street. we're told the police found the victim suffering from at least gunshot wound. the victim was taken to a local hospital where he later died. so far, no arrests have been made. a 14-year-old boy is recovering from a gunshot wound to the leg. that happened last night near 14th street and columbia road in northwest washington. you can see more than a dozen shell casings littered the streets there. police have not made any arrests. no motives, no suspect information has been released. police are investigating a
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shooting death in springfield in fairfax county. 75-year-old gary hanson was shot inside his home near chancellor way, just off fairfax county parkway. police swarmed that neighborhood. they told residents to stay inside their homes until the area was secured. at this point in the investigation, police are not saying much. police did issue a lookout for gary hanson's son, richard. richard hanson is not considered a suspect, he's wanted because he has a medical condition and is considered a danger to himself. police say he may be driving a 1998 four-door green saturn with virginia tags klg-2406. breaking news now. metro just voted 12-1 to change the dulles rail project from underground to aboveground. talking about that metro stop, the actual station, at the dulles airport. they made that change after pressure from the obama administration and transportation secretary ray lahood. that follows, of course, pressure from virginia, fairfax,
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and loudoun counties. the authorities had previously decided to build a more expensive underground station, claiming it would be more convenient for travelers, less of an eyesore as well, and it would last long. but again, the metropolitan washington airport's authority has now voted to build an aboveground rail station at dulles airport. your time now is 11:10. coming up, british prime minister david cameron is the one answering questions today about the phone hacking scandal. what he had to say about his communications chief who is accused of being involved in that scandal. plus, practice makes perfect. what the astronauts are doing today to prepare for tomorrow's final shuttle landing.
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well, as they say, all good things must come to an end. for me, it's been an unbelievable journey on a magnificent flying machine. my congratulations and thanks go to all the thousands of dedicated and passionate team members who have made the shuttle program the success that it has been and contributed to the legacy that it leaves behind. it's because of their blood, sweat and tears that we can say, mission complete. it's time to celebrate this amazing accomplishment and look forward to the future. god speed to all. >> it is kind of hard to believe, but the space shuttle "atlantis" is on its way home.
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this is the final landing for the space shuttle program, ending 30 years of space flight. the four-person crew has a busy day today. they launched a small satellite, they put some equipment away, did tv interviews, and they even practiced landing on a computer simulator. landing is scheduled for 5:57 tomorrow morning. you can, of course, watch it live on "news 4 today." new today, british prime minister david cameron talked about the phone hacking scandal in front of parliament. he denied that his staff tried to stop investigations into the phone hacking at the now-defunct tabloid, "news of the world." he also defended his position to hire one of the tabloid's former editors as his communications chief. >> -- about the police investigation, that they should pursue the evidence, wherever it leads, and arrest exactly who they wish. and that is exactly what they have done. >> cameron cut short his africa trip to appear before the house of commons. british lawmakers also delayed their summer breaks.
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this morning, news corp. executive rupert murdoch told his staff, those who have betrayed our trust must be held accountable under the law. he also told them in an e-mail, the company is taking steps to make sure that serious problems like this never happen again. nbc's stephanie gosk reports now about his testimony before a parliamentary committee. >> reporter: like one of the celebrities that fill his tabloids, rupert murdoch and his son, james, are making splashy headlines today. nearly every british paper seizes on the drama of the day. the so-called humble pie attack. seated behind him at the hearing, rupert murdoch's wife, wendi, turned into a bodyguard, springing to his defense, wielding an instinctive and accurate punch. >> your wife has a very good left hook. >> reporter: the man behind the failed attack was amateur comedian johnny marvels, who was quickly arrested and led away. when pies weren't being thrown, father and son sat side by side for three hours, apologizing over and over. >> this is the most humble day of my life. >> i would like to say, as well,
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just how sorry we are, to particularly the victims of illegal voice mail interceptions. >> reporter: but at no point during the hearing did either murdoch accept responsibility for phone hacking at "news of the world." >> mr. murdoch, do you accept that ultimately you responsible for this whole fiasco? >> no. >> you are not responsible? who is responsible? >> the people that i trusted to run it, and then maybe the people they trusted. >> reporter: from the beginning, james took the lead. >> i think my son can perhaps answer that in more detail. >> reporter: at times jumping in to help when his 80-year-old father search ordinaed or stumb the answer. the parliament committee had hoped to get answers to specific detailed questions about the phone hacking, but often the head of news corp. and his deputy chief operating officer either didn't know or weren't saying. >> i have no knowledge. >> i can't answer.
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i don't know. >> reporter: les hinton and rebekah brooks, who resigned from their positions last friday, both formally led the newspaper arm. later in the day, brooks faced questions by herself from the same panel. she was arrested on sunday over allegations of phone hacking and payments to police for information. she, too, denies any wrongdoing or any knowledge of wrongdoing. >> i have never paid a policeman myself. >> reporter: but for the murdochs, the day was not just about defending themselves. they were trying to salvage the reputation of news corp.. >> the "news of the world" is less than 1% of our company. i employ 53,000 people around the world. >> reporter: in just two weeks, the second largest media company in the world has come under withering attack. >> and it is our determination to both put things right, make sure these things don't happen again. >> reporter: it is widely believed that james wants the top job at news corp. himself, but for the moment, that position isn't open. >> mr. murdoch, have you considered resigning? >> no.
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>> why not? >> because i feel that people i trusted have let me down. i am the best person to clean this up. >> that was stephanie gosk reporting. murdoch says he has not seen any evidence journalists at "news of the world" hacked into the phones of 9/11 victims. lawmakers are back at the bargaining table this morning, and now have a new proposal to help them avoid a debt default. the gang of six, a group of three democratic and three republican senators, including virginia's mark warner, introduced a new plan yesterday. it would reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade and add $1 trillion in tax revenue. it is likely too complicated to be approved before the august 2nd deadline, but it could provide a framework to get a deal done. the president says, however, for the first time, he's seeing signs of compromise. >> i think we now are seeing the potential for a bipartisan consensus. >> we're here because the american people told us,
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overwhelmingly, cut the spending, cut the debt. >> house republicans are still pushing for cut, cap, and balance, which passed the house yesterday, primarily along party lines. it's expected to fail in the senate. the president will likely hear how folks in our region feel about the debt ceiling debate later this week in a town hall. the university of maryland will host the event at college park on friday. it will be held at the richey coliseum, one of the smaller venues on campus, which holds only about 1,200 people. the university says a limited number of general admission tickets will be made available. and now to decision 2012. republican presidential hopeful michele bachmann is responding to a report about her health. former aides told an online news site that bachmann went to the hospital for migraines and at times those migraines left her incapacitated. the minnesota congresswoman says she takes prescription medication to keep her migraines under control and they are not a big problem for her. in the latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, bachmann surged into second place among 12 republican candidates. former governor mitt romney
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remains number one with 30%. bachmann is second with 16%. that is a big difference from a month ago, when she was just at 3%. texas governor rick perry comes in third, but he hasn't decided if he will actually run for president. veronica johnson joins us now, talking about the heat that is here and the more heat -- if that makes any sense. >> the impending doom of more heat. yeah. normally during the summer, you get excited about getting out and doing something, right? nothing exciting about getting out the next couple of days, at all, as a matter of fact. tomorrow, we're going for triple digit readings around the area. that means, aaron, it's not going to be just uncomfortable, but stressful being outside. really stressful. hard to cool down and hard to even take a breath at times when you deal with heat index values up around 105 and 110. that's not where we are with as of yet. we've got a heat index right now at 92 degrees. 85 is the current temperature. we do have some clouds out there right now.
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you can see there with the monuments in the background. on digital doppler xt, it is dry right now. we did get a few cooling thunderstorms yesterday. in fact, some severe thunderstorms too that brought about an inch of rain to leonardtown, maryland. annapolis picked up just over a half inch of rain, and we had over a quarter inch of rain at braygan national airport. well, just some isolated storms today. there's that possibility mainly off to the west of the area. heat index running at 100 now in culpepper, and just up 2 degrees there in fredericksburg, virginia, feeling like 102 degrees. here's a look at the temperatures throughout the nation, where it's 86 in dallas, texas. they'll be rising high. 91 degrees in little rock. 91 also in raleigh, north carolina. factor in the humidity, and right here is our big bubble of heat. it extends from minneapolis down toward dallas, texas. that heat has been continuing to open up and make its way not only to the east, but rising to the north, up into areas of the midwest. all right. the heat advisories, the
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excessive heat warnings, those are in effect for a good portion of the country. more than a quarter of the country. in fact, almost half of the country dealing with this high heat. and it's not going to break down, i think, until about the second half of the weekend for us here in the mid-atlantic states and northeast. the high temperature today, 94 degrees in manassas. 95 in d.c. 96 degrees in fredericksburg. but, again, feeling once again like yesterday, like we're over 100 degrees. there's the white, that's your clouds. some high clouds coming through the area, some hazy sunshine. but late today, 7:00, maybe a few isolated storms. predominantly west front royal and down towards harrisonburg. and maybe some clouds building back tomorrow with a few showers with more of a southeasterly wind right around the water. annapolis and also around st. mary's. all right. let's take you through the forecast here. your good night/wake-up forecast. warm evening coming our way. temperatures will be falling off into the 80s and probably hanging above 80 degrees by midnight. then 78 to 79 degrees early
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tomorrow morning. sun's up tomorrow at 6:00, getting a little later and later. and for tomorrow, with this excessive heat, yeah, it starts to tomorrow and runs for the next three days, where we could be around 100. an excessive heat watch for the entire area. 105 to 110 is what it could feel like. your forecast for today, 90 to 96 degrees. take it easy, folks. make sure you stay in the shade and stay hydrated. and then kind of a calm, stagnant night coming our way. 84 to 90 for your evening. we'll drop down into the 70s. check out the four-day forecast. the other thing, aaron, is that it's still looking pretty dry. we don't have any rain, i think, coming our way until we get to sunday. 99 degrees expected on thursday. friday, up to 101. saturday, 100 degrees. and that means some record heat, of course, for the end of the week. 96 to about 94 degrees for the rest of the weekend and the beginning of next week. >> so we can just hope that the rest of next week we'll start that downward -- >> that's right, that decline. >> we'll be waiting for that.
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thanks, veronica. >> you bit. still ahead on news 4 h midday, the future of the national zoo's kids farm. an announcement was made about an hour ago. we'll have that for you. and caught on camera, where a hunter snapped these pictures of a black bear in our area. first, here's a look at what's hot on
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this morning, the national zoo announced the future of the kids' farm exhibit there. this comes months after the smithsonian institute said the farm animal exhibit would close due to budget cuts. now, though, a $1.4 million gift from state farm insurance guarantees that the kids' farm exhibits will remain open for the next five years. the kids' farm gives children an up close view of the animals there. the state farm donation is the largest made to the zoo since 2007. well, we've been telling you about black bear sightings in the d.c. area for weeks now. this morning, we're getting a good look at one. take a look at this. a viewer sent us these pictures of a black bear in bethesda in montgomery county. these photos were taken two days ago in the carter rock neighborhood. earlier this month, residents in leesburg and loudoun county reported seeing several black bears there. there is no word if this could
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be the same bear. coming up in the next half hour of "news 4 midday," a change in the plan for dulles metro rail station. plus, today, millions of people dealing with extreme heat and humidity across the country. we'll look at some of the problems it's causing. and veronica johnson is back with a look at when the most dangerous heat will arrive in our area. we also have a warning from metro police, where break-ins have become what makes the sleep number store different? you walk into a conventional mattress store, it's really not about you. they say, "well, if you want a firm bed you can lay on one of those, if you want a soft bed you can lay on one of those." we provide the exact individualization that your body needs. this is your body there. you can see a little more pressure in the shoulders and in the hips.
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right now crews are busy repairing a water main break in montgomery county. it's happening along georgia avenue in wheaton. you can see the mess it caused, as well as the damage to the roadway there, but it is not just one spot. several spots where the water rushed down the road and into some people's houses are affected here. an update now on breaking news we are following at this hour. the airports authority just voted on whether to stick with its plan to build an underground station at dulles airport or to go with a more affordable aboveground stop. news 4's jane watrel is live for us this morning at reagan national where the airports authority is meeting. jane, what's the vote? >> reporter: well, the vote is, aaron, that they have reversed themselves. they have caved into pressure from not only the obama administration but the counties of fairfax and loudoun, who were balking at the cost of building a below ground or underground station at dulles. so the vote was 12-1, one dissenting vote. we'll get to that in a minute.
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but board members were told by an obama administration appointee that the government is not a cash cow. they need to save $1 billion off of the metro-to-dulles rail extension. by building an aboveground metro station at the airport, $330 million are shaved off the project. and they've come up with some other ways to fund this as well. the counties of loudoun and fairfax will be building parking garages. that will shave off more money. and the government will be working -- there's a memorandum of understanding that was passed between the obama administration and the board. there'll be other methods to shave costs as well. elected officials from fairfax and loudoun did balk when mwaa voted earlier this year for the costlier undergunshot wouround . some said they did this because they wanted dulles to be a world-class airport. they didn't do it to try to stick it to people or taxpayers on the tolls, but that's how elected officials felt and that's how taxpayers felt. they wanted a lower cost alternative to bringing metro rail to dulles, and today they
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got it. so, again, by a 12-1 vote, the mwaa, the metropolitan washington airports authority board has agreed to build an aboveground metro station instead of a costlier underground and we'll have much more starting today at 4:00. >> jane watrel live for us at reagan national, thank you, jane. a heat wave is settling in across our area and across the country. heat advisories are in effect for the district, virginia, maryland, and 29 other states. that's fully two-thirds of the country, trapped under a dome of heat and humidity right now. many advisories will be in effect for the next three days. now, this didn't stop some people from getting outside. others, like these construction crews, had no choice. let's check in again with veronica johnson for the latest on this forecast. and we can't drive home the point enough that it's going to be unbearably, dangerously hot out there. >> that's right. and when we say that, we're not
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talking about your typical summer-kind of heat around here. we're talking about extreme heat, dangerous kind of heat -- excuse me -- where that heat index temperature is up around 105 to 110. it's got me all coughing and choked up here. 85 degree it is the temperature. the heat index currently is at 92 degrees. and we do have some cloud cover around the area. some thin clouds that are trying to burn off from the early part of the day. take a look down south. already, ma nmanassas and warrenton at 96. mt. ari, all reading a little high. the feel-like factor, culpepper and fredericksburg at 100 to 105. your high temperature today, though, right at 95 to 96. but tomorrow, that air temperature will be at 100. and then when you factor in the humidity, here's what we're talking about. the heat advisories and the excessive heat watch for so much of the nation, well, now it's arrived here. tomorrow, again, 105 to feeling like 110.
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on friday, that heat, again, finally sliding to the east. the big dome of high pressure. so by the time we get to saturday, sunday, we're going to see that heat start to break down the second part of the weekend. aaron? >> all right. veronica, thanks. three children and two adults are recovering after a tree limb fell on them. the kids were all attending the people's church summer vacation bible camp. they were visiting garfield park in southeast when that large tree branch fell. we're told the injuries are serious, but none is considered life threatening. today, the army major accused of going on a shooting rampage at ft. hood in 2009 will be formally charged. former major nidal hasan will be arraigned today on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. hasan will be able to enter a plea, but because he faces the death penalty, military law requires him to plead not guilty. attorneys for hasan say they may use an insanity defense. that trial expected to start next march.
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london's mayor is telling president obama to pay up for clogging the streets of london with his motorcade. london has a congestion levee which it imposes on any vehicle that slows down traffic on the city streets. mayor boras johnson says president obama is not excused. johnson says u.s. motorcades have run up a tab of more than 5 million pounds or $8.5 million since 2003. the u.s. refuses to pay, citing the 1960 vienna convention, which prohibits taxes on diplomatic missions. if you park your car at the metro station for the day, you may want to be a little more careful about what you leave behind. transit authority police say there has been a rise in break-ins at station garages and parking lots on the red, blue, and orange license. there were 19 cars broken into last thursday alone. 12 of them were at the largo town center garage. police describe the break-ins as smash-and-grabs where thieves look for valuables left in plain sight. police say they will add more
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officers and step up monitoring at the affected stations. the prince george's county council wants to impose stricter requirements on nightclubs. according to the "washington post," the proposal would require clubs to submit security plans to county officials. it also would give police the power to shut down clubs deemed a threat to public safety. so far this year, six of the county's 64 murders have been linked to nightclubs compared to three last year. the bill still has to be signed by county executive rushern baker before it can become law. news 4 has uncovered new information about the accused murderer who escaped from custody in the district and why police truly considered him armed and dangerous. news 4's jackie bensen has the exclusive details. >> reporter: when police described escaped murder suspect 24-year-old james brewer as "armed and dangerous," they weren't kidding. in fact, they were nervous. brewer was arrested last thursday for the june 27th murder of solomon reece. the 71-year-old army veteran was
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robbed and killed in a southeast d.c. apartment by three men, one of whom shot him. sources tell news 4 investigators believe that as they were closing in on suspect james brewer, more people started to get hurt. sunday, july 10th, rochelle avenue in district heights, 26-year-old dwight donelle hicks was shot to death while standing near a metro bus stop just before 1:00 a.m. police believe he knew something about the murder of mr. reece, the elderly army veteran. sources tell news 4 that james brewer is a person of interest in the murder of dwight hicks. sources say that detectives are also looking at brewer in connection with a frightening incident at this home in southeast washington just two days after the hicks murder. a molotov cocktail was thrown through the front window in the middle of the night. luckily, the fire was quickly extinguished. brewer was arrested last thursday in newport news, virginia. by friday, he had escaped custody in the district and cut his hair, similar to this older
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photo, to avoid being recaptured. brewer, of course, did turn himself in after extensive media coverage in the case. jackie bensen, "news 4 today." fairfax county police are on the hunt this morning for a man they say sexually assaulted a woman in her own apartment and may now be targeting her neighbors. the first attack happened early saturday morning on lewis chapel circle in lorton. police say a man wearing a mask came through a window and sexually assaulted a woman while her three daughters, ages 2 to 9, slept just down the hall. the children were not injured and the man got away. but since the attack, neighbors have noticed damage to their windows and screens. police don't have a good description of the suspect, but they say he is masked and armed with a hammer. still ahead on "news 4 midday," we'll run down ways to save on prescription drugs. each pharmacy is different. plus, healthy food options. what the first lady is doing to make that ha
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this afternoon, the first lady will announce a major partnership to bring healthy foods to low-income areas across the country. it's part of the food deserts program. several national grocery chains, with including walmart, walgreens, and supervalu will open or expand more than 1,500 stores. right now, 23.5 million americans live in low-income areas, where stores are less likely to sell affordable and nutritious foods. millions of women may not
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have to pay to get birth control. the institute of medicine now recommends all health insurance companies provide free birth control. they also recommend insurance cover diabetes tests during pregnancy and screenings for the virus that causes cervical cancer at no cost to the patient. the federal government asked the institute to look at the birth control issue for the new health care law. the department of health and human services will make the final decision. nfl players say they are in no rush, but they can begin to shed the chains of a four-month-old lockout today. the players association is reviewing portions of a new collective bargaining agreement and they hope to be presented with the finalized version soon. but they told reporters this morning that they are not letting a special meeting of owners tomorrow rush them into making a bad deal. the main hurdle remaining is the lawsuit filed by players against the league. if that can be settled, there will likely be football this fall. >> we have got to trust the process, make sure that we get this right. it's very important to the players that they get this right, which is why they've been involved in working so hard.
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>> now, if a new deal is agreed to this week, teams could start to sign free agents next week and training camps for all 32 teams could open at the end of the month. fewer people bought previously occupied homes in june. cnbc's courtney reagan joins us live now with more on that and the rest of the day's business headlines. courtney? >> hi, how are you? actually, right now stocks are dragging just a little bit. it looks like the dow and the nasdaq are a bit lower on the day. this is after we've gotten some mixed market signals, to say the least. according to the national association of realtors, sales of previously owned u.s. homes unexpectedly fell 0.8% in june. that's touching a seven-month low. however, the mortgage bankers association says mortgage applications surged 15.5% last week to the biggest increase in four months. mixing real estate and stock talk,, a real estate information website, began trading for the first time today, opening 150% higher than its original listed price. and as earnings season rages on,
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big names are posting some big numbers. apple more than doubles its profit, selling every ipad that they could make. united technologies reporting a 19% increase in quarterly earnings and raising its full-year profit forecast for the third time. intel will release their profit earnings after the closing bell today. the days of getting mail delivered on saturday may be numbered. the u.s. post master general tells "usa today" a drop of mail volume and soaring red ink could doom weekend delivery, which has been mandated by congress since 1983. the postal service is projected to lose $8.6 billion this year. it has to make a $5 billion payment in september to cover future retirees' health benefits. and colleges are struggling to make ends meet, just like many americans are, so they're cutting some interesting costs along the way. it looks like they're skimping on printing out different papers for students. it looks like students are going to be on their to print out some
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of those course packets, along with some of those other fees that colleges have long been able to provide for students going back to school. back to you. >> i think e-mail should be the way to go for that. >> there you go. exactly, right? e-mail it is. >> thank you, courtney. >> thank you. well, generic prescription drugs can cost significantly less than the name-brand drugs, but the pharmacy itself can also make a big difference in the price. dr. joshua weiner joins us now with some advice for anybody who has to fill a prescription for medication. we appreciate you coming in today. >> sure. >> i think there are a lot of people who don't realize that you really should shop around, even for, when it comes to your prescription drugs, right? >> it really can make a significant difference. let me give you one example. there's a medication called a z-pack. it's a very commonly prescribed antibiotic. the price difference between pharmacies can be significant. one pharmacy or several pharmacies that i called for that particular medication, for the generic version, it cost $40. i called another pharmacy, it was $8. so we're talking five times the difference. and it's not just zit row my sin
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or the z-pack, this applies to a lot of medication. and even within companies, the price can vary between pharmacies. one cvs can charge a different amount than another cvs. >> is that just geography? >> yeah. >> and it's worth noting these drugs really do the same thing. it's the same stuff, brand name versus generic, right? >> most of the times. but sometimes the generic will not work the same way the brand name will work. you have to be a little bit cautious. >> let's go through ways people can save when it comes to prescription drugs. you can start by comparing those pharmacy prices, right? >> start by comparing pharmacy prices. the next thing that i suggest people do is talk to their doctor about dosing. let me explain what i mean by that. let's take a prescription used for depression called lexapro. it comes in 5 milligrams, 10 milligrams, or 20 milligrams. believe it or not, the cost for a 5-milligram pill is the same
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for a 20-milligram pill. so what you can talk to your doctor about doing is writing the prescription for the higher dose and then getting a pill cutter and slicing the medication. most medications can be cut. some medications come in capsules or it affects the way the medicine is metabolized if you break it. but most medications you can cut, so you're cutting your cost. >> okay. but there were some -- there would be some people, i think, who would be concerned about not cutting it exactly the way that it should be to get the correct dosage -- >> so you talk to your doctor and find out. for a medication like lexapro, quite frankly, it doesn't matter whether you're taking 10 milligrams or 12.5. you don't have to be exact. i tell people, go for it, save money. >> great. the next thing you say, talk to the pharmacist. you have coupons and savings clubs? >> a lot of pharmacies will automatically offer this to you if they know you don't have insurance, but if they don't offer it, ask about it. >> and i know you encourage people to actually contact the pharmaceuticals company. how do you do that and what do you say?
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>> we've all seen the commercials where they say, if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca can help. i actually thought that was hoo-ha. i didn't believe it. i've had several patients who have gone about contacting the pharmaceutical company and it can be incredible, the savings that you can have. i have one patient who's taking $12,000 worth of medication. he's getting it for free through the pharmaceutical company. so what i suggest you do is you go to the -- find out who the manufacturer is of the medication that you're taking, go to their website, oftentimes you can click in the search bar and type "patient assistance program," and that will give you the information that you need to supply the pharmaceutical company, as well as the information that your doctor needs to provide in order for you to get these medications. but it's not that hard, and it really is incredible how they provide thousands of dollars worth of medication for free. >> but you've got to do it. you've got to be proactive about making this sort of stuff happen? >> right. you've got to go out and do the shopping for it and making it happen. >> some great advice there, dr. joshua weiner. appreciate you coming in. >> thank you.
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your time right now is 11:49. coming up, energy saving ideas during this heat wave.
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consider this the before deciding to go out to lunch or dinner today. those calorie listings on the restaurant menus and websites may not be accurate after all. in fact, researchers say about 1 out of 5 meals they tested
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actually has at least 100 more call release it indicated. scientists say the biggest calorie discrepancies were at sit-down restaurants, not fast food chains like you might think. they also say chipotle, boston market, and bob evans were among the biggest offenders. two things we know. the heat and humidity are already oppressive and it's going to get worse. but spending time cooling off in the ac can be costly, so how do you beat the heat without breaking the bank? here's news 4's liz crenshaw. >> because no matter how efficient your equipment is, if you're sending that precious, expensive cooled air right out the window, you're behind the eight ball. you're not winning. >> reporter: the average u.s. household will spend about $2,200 on home energy this year. air-conditioning will account for about 17% of that. that's why ronnie crellor says it's important to find ways to give your ac a break, especially
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during days of oppressive heat. what about a space like this, what do we do? >> it's obviously news and modern and i'm sure the windows are energy efficient, but we are facing south here, so it would be really to the benefit of the homeowner and her electricity bill -- >> close this off a bit? >> close it off, shade it during the day. >> reporter: when it comes to older homes, you want to make sure there are no leaks or cracks around the window frames and doors. caulking can help air from escaping and can cut your heating and cooling bills year round by 20%. and simple chores like changing a filter will give your ac some breathing room. >> if the filter is dirty, the fan that moves the cooled air through your system, through the vents, has to work overtime. >> reporter: if you have a ceiling fan, turn it on and raise your thermostat. you'll feel the cool air blowing without the ac cranking. >> they cool people, not spaces. so we do recommend that you turn them off when the room's not occupied. >> reporter: best tip of all,
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get a programmable thermostat. >> then you can program it so that the air-conditioning temperature is a little bit higher while the house is empty, but it will come back on to a lower temperature shortly before you come home. >> reporter: and local utility companies like bg&e and pepco are offering incentive is if customers enroll in programs that allow them to take control of your compressor during hot days. >> options to lower individual's energy bills, but also because using less energy protects the integrity of the electricity grid. >> reporter: other ways to save energy around your home, swap out those incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents. you can save up to $35 in energy over the life of the bulb. >> that's because it uses only about a quarter of the energy of a comparable incandescent and it lasts up to ten times as long. >> reporter: if you're in the market for a new appliance, look for brands with the energy star label. it can save you up to 30%.
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>> we're talking about several hundred dollars over the course of the year that you can save. so it is real money. >> pepco suggests waiting until the evening to use high energy appliances like electric stoves, dish washers, and dryers, that way it's not causing stress on the grid during peak hours. let's take a look at some of the stories we're following on news 4 this afternoon. pat lawson muse joins us in the newsroom with a preview of things to come. >> hey, aaron, good morning. coming up on this afternoon on news 4 at 4:00, the tsa today announces big changes to those controversial full-body scanners. we'll tell you what they're doing to protect your privacy while still ensuring your safety in the air. also ahead at 4:00, this is what happens when there's too much rain. it's incredible video. we'll show it to you on news 4 at 4:00 right after "ellen." aaron? >> incredible it is. thank you, pat. time now for a final check on our forecast. veronica johnson joins us with that. and our last chance to hear about the heat before we get out
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in it, at least for you and me, right? >> exactly. and getting out in it, try to think of all the thing s you ca do outside in 10 or 15 minutes. no need to spend any long stretches of time outside. you want to keep cool. 10, 15 minutes, that's about it, and come on back inside. 87 degrees, current temperature now, reagan national airport. that heat index, the feel-like factor, 95 degrees. that's exactly what the air temperature will be later today. 95, 96. like yesterday, the heat index, right over 100 degrees. and that means a good spot to cool off. you can spend longer than 15 or 20 minutes outside if you're going to be heading to the beach. 76 degrees, that's the current water temperature at ocean city. take a look for thursday and for friday, tomorrow and friday, 92, 95 degrees. a lot of sunshine tomorrow, then a few clouds coming our way on friday. but definitely hot everywhere, so just get in the water and try and cool off. here's a look at your four-day forecast, going for the triple-digit readings not just one day, because mentally, we
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could probably deal with that, but two and three days! that's what's going to be really hard to deal with and very stressful, indeed, on our ac and energy bill too. by the weekend, the heat wave breaks down. next week, 92 to about 95. >> all right. we've been warned. thanks, veronica. >> you bet. >> that is "news 4 midday." thanks for joining us. you can tune in from 4:00 to 7:00 tonight for all the day's news. i'll be back tomorrow with news # today at 4:30 tomorrow. in the meantime, try to stay cool out there.
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News 4 Midday
NBC July 20, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

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on 8/15/2011